Thursday, August 14, 2008

OMA again in Rotterdam - Kaas van Koolhaas

Rotterdam was bombed during World War II and in rebuilding this world renowned harbor city somehow an anchoring center was omitted. When you arrive in Rotterdam by train, the first impression you get of the city is that it's relatively new. The street that runs parallel to the railroad and the one perpendicular to the Central Station are lined by large post war buildings and some towers. The boulevard straight ahead leads to a shopping center, a village style mall, built to replace what was destroyed during the war. The heart of the city is a replacement, and not more than that.

The architects of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture envision a cube that will fill in that architectural and emotional hole.
An anchoring structure that will return that certain central quality that a city of Rotterdam's proportions and importance needs.
The cube will find its foundation partially on top of existing buildings, and will show "holes" allowing for a connection between the interior and the city.

Only in Holland, where cheese cubes are the obligatory snack presented with wine and beer, a project of this size could be likened to a cube of cheese. So be it, Rotterdam will have "De Kaas van Koolhaas" (Cheese by (or of) Koolhaas).

No comments: